Infectious Disease

Adjustments in odor and style are frequent with COVID-19, typically earlier than different signs

17th December 2020

2 min read

ADD SUBJECT TO EMAIL ALARMS

Receive an email when new articles are published

Please enter your email address to receive an email when new articles are published . “data-action =” subscribe “> subscribe

We could not process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this problem, please contact customerservice@slackinc.com.

Back to Healio

Hyposmia and dysgeusia – or changes in smell and taste, respectively – were common symptoms of COVID-19 in a retrospective analysis of hospital admissions at a center in Italy during the one month period at the start of the pandemic.

Francesco Bax

“Many patients admitted for COVID-19 infection complained about a change in taste / smell. When asked directly and thoroughly, we found that some of them had these as the first symptoms to remember. ” Francesco Bax, MD, A neurologist based in the Clinical Neurology Department at the University of Udine in Italy told Healio Neurology. “Therefore, we were encouraged to rate how common these disorders were in our patient population and how often they came before other symptoms, as we felt that characterizing them might help us understand a little more about the early stages of the infection.”

More than 62% of patients with COVID-19 experienced hyposmia and dysgeusia

Bax and colleagues examined the rate of hyposmia and dysgeusia in patients with COVID-19, as well as the relationship between these symptoms and the occurrence of others in a group of patients admitted to the non-intensive COVID-19 department of Udine University Hospital based on a positive swab test and / or clinical and radiological evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The recording took place in March 2020.

Researchers interviewed 141 consecutive patients (mean age 62.6 years) [range, 19-91 years];; 66.7% men) admitted to hospital. They excluded 48 patients (34%) and conducted interviews with 93 patients (66%).

Of the 93 patients surveyed, 58 had hyposmia and dysgeusia (62.4%). According to the study results, 22.4% of these patients “clearly” had olfactory and taste impairment before systemic symptoms. The age and gender distribution did not differ between the hyposmic group and that of the entire surveyed population.

The researchers observed “very limited” active smoking in both groups (hyposmic group = 8.6%; normosmic group = 2.9%; OR = 3.2) [95% CI, 0.3-28.6]). The total number of white blood cells and neutrophils was lower in the hyposmic group (23%) [effect estimate, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.06-1.42] and 29%. [effect estimate, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.07-1.54], respectively). Bax and colleagues did not observe any differences for other inflammatory biomarkers.

Few hyposmic patients (n = 6; 10.3%) had rhinorrhea and / or nasal congestion, and only two of these patients (3.4%) had a history of asthma based on the findings. Approximately 10% of the patients (10.3%; n = 6) reported a history of allergic rhino-conjunctivitis. One patient who reported pre-existing hyposmia noted worsening of the symptom 2 days before the onset of systemic symptoms; The deterioration continued at the time of the interview with this patient. A history of nasal polyposis was reported in non-hyposmic patients.

According to Bax, the rates of hyposmia and dysgeusia in the present study are consistent with the figures given in the current literature. He found that prevalence estimates for hyposmia and dysgeusia in COVID-19 vary from study to study, mainly due to the diversity of the patient populations analyzed and the different instruments used to measure these sensory disorders.

“A current meta-analysis [by Agyeman and colleagues] In more than 8,000 patients from 24 studies, a pooled prevalence of approximately 40% for both hyposmia and dysgeusia was reported, but the range varied between the different studies considered, ”said Bax.

Finding that hyposmia and dysgeusia can occur in some patients before other symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever or cough appear, could serve as a “warning sign” of impending infection and create self-isolation to limit the spread of the disease.

However, there are currently no approved treatments for hyposmia and dysgeusia in COVID-19, Bax said. In most cases, these symptoms are temporary and often go away on their own.

“Even so, some patients may experience longer duration of taste and impairment of smell. However, more evidence is needed to understand the exact mechanisms underlying these symptoms and their possible longer duration,” said Bax.

References:

Agyeman AA et al. Mayo Clin Proc. 2020; doi: 10.1016 / j.mayocp.2020.05.030.

McGovern Medical School. Hyposmia and anosmia. Available at: https://med.uth.edu/orl/2020/01/09/hyposmia-and-anosmia/. Accessed December 17, 2020.

National Institute for Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Taste disorders. Available at: https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/taste-disorders. Accessed December 17, 2020.

ADD SUBJECT TO EMAIL ALARMS

Receive an email when new articles are published

Please enter your email address to receive an email when new articles are published . “data-action =” subscribe “> subscribe

We could not process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this problem, please contact customerservice@slackinc.com.

Back to Healio

COVID-19 Resource Center

COVID-19 Resource Center

Related Articles